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T20 World Cup: India and England aim for place in final thanks to ‘clash of equals’

Adelaide, November 9 (IANS): It is very rare in world tournaments for tied teams to meet in the semi-finals, instead of expecting them to meet in the final.

In sunny Adelaide, India and England, two teams with equal firepower, will battle it out for a place in the final when they meet at the Adelaide Ring in the second semi-final of the Men’s T20 World Cup on Thursday.

T20I clashes between England and India have been frequent and competitive in recent years, including in the bilateral series in July. But they haven’t met in a T20 World Cup match for a decade, or in the knockout stage of an ICC tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy final.

While India entered knockouts thanks to the superlative batting of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav and the extremely effective bowling attack of Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin, England beat very deep, possesses versatile strength and has the pacers as well as spinners to challenge the opposition.

First, Thursday’s semi-final will be played on a worn court. With short square boundaries and a longer front of the square dimensions at Adelaide Oval, this makes the coin toss crucial and the first batter becomes all the more important. The importance of spinners also increases as the pitch tends to be slow later in the game.

In this case, India would really want their higher order to set the tone in the first six overs. In the power play phase of the tournament, India scored at 5.96 points per over, which is lower than England’s 6.79 points. With the new ball moving, it meant India had to move away from their ultra-attacking approach to be on the safe side.

Moreover, the highest opener partnership in the tournament between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul is only 27 years. of 193.96.

Suryakumar, the right-handed hitter who is also the highest ranked T20I hitter, was also a huge force behind India having the best run rate in the final four overs of the tournament at 11.90 runs per over and changing the tempo of the innings to propel India by a score equal to a winning aggregate.

With the dilemma between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant still aside from Hardik Pandya not doing anything worthwhile with the bat after the opening game against Pakistan, India must carefully consider who between the two wicket-keepers should be. chosen for an extremely difficult match.

With the ball, left-arm pacer Arshdeep has been a revelation with 10 scalps in five games while senior right-arm pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a save rate of 5.4 and has also fired Jos Buttler five times in the T20 matches. But the pocket of weakness that India may seek to exploit could come from its spinners.

With left-arm spinner Axar Patel not excelling much in Australian conditions, he could be replaced by leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal to team up with off-spin Ravichandran Ashwin. Moreover, with England’s batting-against-spin rate of just 100.5 and an average of just 22 in the tournament, this is an area India will certainly be looking to exploit.

Despite having the power and style of Buttler, Alex Hales, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook and Moeen Ali with the bat, the English bat has yet to click in unison in the tournament.

Their bowling to the death, which was a huge weakness in last year’s tournament, has become a huge strength, as shown by the save rate of six and the selection of seven wickets in this phase, the left arm point guard Sam Curran being the leader at their end. transformation bowling overs, while the right-arm pace duo of Stokes and Chris Woakes handle fast bowling duties from the start.

England are also struggling with form with Dawid Malan nursing a groin injury and heartbreaking pacer Mark Wood with body stiffness. India also had some hands-in-mouth moments when Rohit and Kohli took a few hits in training sessions, but they were fine later.

Come on Thursday, and the Adelaide Ring will be bright and stunning in preparation for a heads-up clash to decide the second runner-up in the Men’s T20 World Cup.

Teams

India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar , Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammad Shami.

England: Jos Buttler (captain and wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Tymal Mills, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Alex Hales.